Gasoline runs quick at South Korean petrol stations as union plans common strike alongside truckers By Reuters



© Reuters. Protesters chant slogans at a information convention in help of the continued strike by truckers in Seoul, South Korea December 5, 2022. Yonhap by way of REUTERS


By Ju-min Park and Heekyong Yang

SEOUL (Reuters) – A nationwide strike by South Korean truckers has led almost 100 petrol stations throughout the nation to run dry, authorities information present, and a nationwide commerce union mentioned it will launch a common strike on Tuesday in help of the drivers.

The truckers’ strike over a minimal pay programme, which started on Nov. 24, has seen two negotiation classes between the union and the federal government, however to this point there was no breakthrough.

As provides of gasoline and building supplies run low, the South Korean authorities has stepped up strain to finish the strike.

President Yoon Suk-yeol on Sunday ordered preparations to problem a return-to-work order for drivers in sectors similar to oil refining and steelmaking, the place extra financial harm is anticipated. Yoon final week invoked such an order, the primary within the nation’s historical past, for two,500 truckers within the cement trade.

The Korean Confederation of Commerce Unions (KCTU), an umbrella union beneath which the truckers’ union falls, has known as the President’s “begin work” order the equal of martial regulation and says the federal government ought to negotiate.

The KCTU mentioned it had deliberate a walkout on Tuesday to help the truckers’ protests.

As of Monday afternoon, almost 100 petrol stations had run out of gasoline. About 60% of them have been in Seoul and Gyeonggi province, a densely populated area close to the capital, in keeping with Korea Nationwide Oil Corp information. That’s up from the 21 petrol stations that the trade ministry had mentioned have been out of gasoline on Nov. 28.

Amid hovering gasoline prices, as many as 25,000 truckers are calling on the federal government to offer a everlasting minimum-pay system often called the “Protected Freight Charge”, which was launched briefly in 2020 for a small portion of greater than 400,000 truckers.

Of their second strike in lower than six months, these truckers are preventing the bitter chilly and the federal government’s narrative that they’re nicely paid “labour aristocracy”.

The Yoon administration has mentioned it will not give in to the union’s calls for. The federal government has mentioned it will prolong the present program for 3 extra years.

The impression of a common strike is unclear and is dependent upon participation, mentioned Han Sang-jin, a KCTU spokeperson.

Labour minister Lee Jung-sik mentioned on Monday {that a} common strike wouldn’t win public help.

The strikes have disrupted South Korea’s provide chain, and value greater than 3.2 trillion gained ($2.46 billion) in misplaced shipments over the primary 10 days, the trade ministry mentioned on Sunday.

Losses are anticipated to have grown in varied industries, however site visitors at ports has barely improved to 69% of its pre-strike common because the back-to-order was issued, in keeping with the federal government.

($1 = 1,303.4400 gained)

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